Turkish Cypriots were punished following the failure of the Annan Plan despite having voted in favour, the community’s leader Ersin Tatar said on the anniversary of the 2004 referendum.

Tatar also criticised what he claimed was the Greek Cypriots being rewarded despite having rejected the plan, such as the Republic’s accession to the EU as a member state.

He argued that the Turkish Cypriots had made significant concessions – “even on the issue of sovereignty” – and emphasised that concessions such as on guarantors will never be tolerated.

He further stated that the Turkish Cypriot community had learned much since the plan’s rejection 18 years ago and again said that a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation is not feasible.

“There have been two separate states now going on for 60 years, they are so ingrained that it is no longer possible to merge under one roof,” Tatar was quoted by the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) as saying.

The plan was approved by 65 per cent of Turkish Cypriots but rejected by 76 per cent of Greek Cypriots, with turnout at 87 per cent and 89 per cent respectively.